Gilbert doesn't expect to play a significant role in Milan-San Remo

Recovered from dental problems, Belgian says he could still surprise in the race

Heading into Milan-San Remo last year Philippe Gilbert already had three victories on his way to becoming the dominant rider of the year. Things are different this year, and he is struggling to find his form. He is now recovered from a toothache which stopped him in Tirreno-Adriatico and doesn't feel he will be a force in MIlan-San Remo this year, but doesn't exclude that possibility entirely.

“I came to Tirreno with a toothache,” the BMC rider said at a press conference Thursday, according to sporza.be.  “It was getting worse instead of better. The pain and inflammation cost me strength and energy. I think it even caused my fever.”

Gilbert ultimately abandoned the race and had the problem finally taken care of. Being pain-free again has now given him “new courage,” but he acknowledged that probably won't be enough. "I'm not ready to play a significant role on Saturday."

"But exactly because I am not one of the top favourites, I will be very relaxed at the start. And sometimes strange things happen on the course. Even if I'm not 100%, I climb better than some sprinters.

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